For First Data, a leader in the technology and payments processing industry, the inability to quickly route qualified leads to the right sales reps was costing business. This study highlights a small subset of First Data sales reps and shows how they leveraged Salesforce to cut time-to-value in half.
Case Study Sponsored by Salesforce.com Written by Info-Tech Research GroupFIRST DATA IMPROVES PRODUCTIVITY AND PROFITABILITY WITH SALESFORCE.COM
First Data is a global leader in the technology and payments processingindustry. With over 24,000 employees and 6.2 million merchant locations, First Data’s strategic focusis on delivering innovations in prepaid, eCommerce and mobile payments solutions as well aspayment processing solutions such as fraud protection, authentication, check guarantee andverification services and point of sale devices and service.The company’s sales group operates in three separate segments: Long-Cycle: Enterprise selling into large accounts with a 6-12 month lead time. Short-Cycle: Sales to small and medium enterprises. Self-Service: Sales driven through leads self-selecting for more information through websites and other portals.This case highlights the actions taken by a small subset of the sales group to leverage Salesforce inan effort to dramatically reduce cost, time to value, and data accuracy within their operation.Leads Challenges at First DataGiven the diverse cycle times and needs of the sales organization at First Data, the organization wasburdened by offering multiple services across a variety of verticals and markets. The ability to routequalified leads to the right sales representatives quickly was a major pain point. Leads entered intothe sales funnel often had to be re-keyed into other products used by the sales floor, resulting inlonger lead times and manual entry errors.Enter SalesforceFirst Data’s need for effective lead management fueled the selection of a technology platformcapable of solving the issues on the sales floor. Lead executives at the organization cite the decisionto deploy Salesforce as driven by the company’s “status as a market leader” and based heavily onthe “ease of development and expandability” of the product offering.The initial deployment consisted of Lead Tracking and Opportunity Management modules, andrequired four FTE in two phases over three months. The results for First Data were immediate andsignificant. Using Salesforce, the company was able to eliminate re-keying and build efficiencies intoits lead generation and delivery process, delivering leads from banking institutions to the sales floorin a matter of minutes with complete accuracy.First Data also committed internal resources to the development of a proprietary tool to furtherincrease the effectiveness of their sales floor. Internally known as First Data Snap!, the tool was builtby 12 FTEs over the course of a year with much of the work focused on developing web serviceinterfaces to allow Salesforce to talk to internal product platforms. The tool has drastically affectedFirst Data’s ability to “Sell More. Sell Better. Sell Faster.” The company has noted a major increasein sales executed by early adopters of the platform, a 50% increase in product penetration on deals
Salesforce at FirstData by the due to more effective up-selling and cross-selling, and has Numbers seen its time to revenue cut in half due to quicker customer activations driven by fewer backend errors. 50% increase in product The Forecasting Problem at First Data penetration due to more With the initial challenge of data-entry and accuracy effective cross-selling and up- tackled, First Data moved on to its next hurdle: extracting, selling. manipulating, and analyzing historical sales data to facilitate the development of forecasting models. Initially, 50% improvement in time to the company spent a significant amount of resources revenue driven by quicker extracting and massaging data each period in Microsoft customer activations due to Excel to develop forecasting models. Models were fewer backend errors. maintained in a decentralized environment, with multiple groups holding individual versions, often with contradicting 50% reduction in cost and man- figures. As a result, the company spent numerous man- hours due to centralization hours every period creating and re-creating models to be when compared to legacy used by the Finance Team. methods. Salesforce: Centralized Forecasting with Sales CloudWith a “quick and easy” implementation process, First Data launched salesforce.com’s Sales Cloudapplication and began using its embedded forecasting functionality. Using the new forecasting tools,which allow for real-time adjustment, quotas and quota attainment, custom forecasting categories,and automatic forecast rollups, First Data was able to centralize forecasting models in the cloud andshare them with multiple stakeholders for on- the-fly editing and updating. Leaders at First Dataestimate savings from centralization in the hundreds of man hours and, more impressively, a costreduction of 50% compared to legacy methods.The Future of Salesforce at First DataHaving saved dollars and man-hours using salesforce.com’s new forecasting functionality, First Dataplans to leverage the cloud CRM provider’s product even further moving forward. As a company thathas grown through acquisition, First Data’s initial next steps are to integrate acquired firms into asingle customer service experience by rationalizing service management technology and bringingeverything under the Salesforce umbrella. This “cleanup” will facilitate quicker expansion for thecompany overall and provide a technology roadmap for future acquisitions. Simultaneously, thecompany plans to roll out the Service Cloud and First Data Snap! to more groups within theorganization.First Data’s usage of salesforce.com’s forecasting tools is a fine example of how to use the platformto facilitate the knowledge sharing process efficiently across multiple stakeholder groups. Thecompany’s metrics have seen a marked improvement through usage of the platform, includingcutting time-to-value in half and seeing an increase in product-penetration of 50%. IntegratingSalesforce more fully into the organization over the coming years will build on the company’s alreadyinnovative foundation and ensure First Data remains an industry leader moving forward.